Kami Doorbell Camera Review

We installed a Kami doorbell camera to test its video and audio quality, notifications, and cloud storage.

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Katie McEntire
Jan 17, 2022
Icon Time To Read5 min read

SafeWise experts have years of firsthand experience testing the products we recommend. Learn how we test and review

The Kami Doorbell Camera is a great starting product for newcomers to smart home gear and doorbell cameras. For around $100, you get AI-powered human detection, clear video, and affordable cloud storage options.

We’re also impressed with Kami’s huge range of installation options. In the box, you’ll find everything you need to hardwire it to your existing doorbell, power it with a battery, or plug it into a USB cable.

No matter what your home setup looks like, Kami gets your smart home started at your doorstep. Plus, it works with Cove Home Security to protect your home beyond the front porch.

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Amazon Disclaimer: *Amazon.com price as of post date. Read full disclaimer

1. Installing the Kami Doorbell Camera

Other than the power drill, you’ll find everything you need to install your new doorbell right in the box.

The Kami comes with all the gear needed to hardwire your doorbell to a traditional chime. Our tester didn’t have a traditional chime, so they used the battery pack included in the box.

Many video doorbells come with both options, but the real kicker from Kami is the USB power cable you can use instead of the battery or hardwiring. If you have an outdoor outlet or a means to plug in your Kami with this cable, it’s the best of both worlds—continuous power without the hardwiring.

In addition to the three power options, Kami comes with three mounting backplates for the back of the camera, ensuring you get a good angle of your front porch.

Kami Doorbell backplates and mounting instructions

Katie McEntire, SafeWise.com

Setting up the camera

Installing the Kami starts like any other IP camera—in the app.

1. Select the doorbell camera in the app.

Kami mobile app select Kami Doorbell

Katie McEntire, SafeWise.com

2. Insert the battery or plug it into the USB cable.

Insert battery into Kami Doorbell

Katie McEntire, SafeWise.com

3. Once it’s on, you’ll scan a QR code and connect it to your Wi-Fi network.

Katie McEntire, SafeWise.com

4. The rest is all hardware.

Installing the hardware

We measured, drilled two pilot holes, secured the backplate, then secured the doorbell with the little screws included in the box.

Katie McEntire installs a Kami Doorbell backplate

Katie McEntire, SafeWise.com

Once the cover was back on the doorbell, we secured it with a screw to keep it tight.

2. Testing the Kami

The Kami has a lot of features, and we tried to test them all. First, we looked at video quality.

We captured a few clips from the front porch over the first couple of days of testing. It has a really wide field of vision—160° to be exact. And it was able to see up to a block away!

We saw delivery drop offs, neighbors, passing vehicles—typical front yard stuff. We didn’t catch every face going by, but for casual use, that’s probably not necessary.

Kami Doorbell footage delivery person dropping off package

Katie McEntire, SafeWise.com

The night vision’s pretty sharp too. The Kami has six infrared lights around the camera that make the night vision possible. You won’t see as far in low-light conditions, but faces and details show up just as clearly in the dark.

Kami Doorbell footage night vision

Katie McEntire, SafeWise.com

We also tested the two-way audio. The speaker on this camera is kind of quiet. And talking into it can be a little tough because you get feedback of what you’re saying through the app. But that’s normal for cameras like this one; you can reduce this by backing away from the doorbell and turning down your phone’s volume.

You can also record messages to play automatically when someone rings your doorbell.

Smart features

A few of the smart features we tested in the Kami Doorbell include person detection, face recognition, and the motion features like motion detection and motion zones.

The person detection correctly labeled humans going by, but it also labeled vehicles as people on a regular basis. Because of this, we ended up with a handful of false alarms and even more notifications. Thankfully, this is an adjustable feature, so we turned down the sensitivity to cut the distractions.

Kami offers face recognition as a premium feature. When this doorbell sees human faces, it stores them in a “face library.”

You can see here how it caught our tester’s face. From that face library, we were able to label each person and store them as someone familiar.

Kami app face library

Katie McEntire, SafeWise.com

And finally, we tested the motion detection, sensitivity, and motion zones.

Overall, the Kami’s motion detection is pretty sensitive. Even turned down and limited to a doorstep, it was able to pick up activity.

We liked the way Kami sets up motion zones too. You’ll see your screen carved up into quadrants with the largest at the bottom for your front porch.

Kami app motion zones

Katie McEntire, SafeWise.com

Cloud storage

Kami Cloud comes in three flavors, and you can pay yearly or monthly. We opted for the free trial of the basic plan priced at $30 per year.

Even at its most expensive, Kami Cloud Plus costs just $130 per year and comes with some bonus features like these:

  • 30-day video history
  • Captures for every alert
  • Support for up to 5 cameras
  • Premium customer support

Even with the basic plan, we were able to save videos and get short clips from alerts. It was a worthy investment, but we’ve seen sweeter deals from other services.

Kami Cloud Plan
Number of cameras
Recording history
Monthly price
Annual price
Entry17 days$2.99$30.00
Standard515 days$9.99$80.00
Plus530 days$14.99$130.00

Info current as of post date. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.

3. Cove and Kami

Cove Home Security

One of the coolest parts about the Kami Doorbell Camera is that it’s compatible with Cove Home Security. If you have Cove, we recommend connecting your camera through the app before mounting it. Once it’s connected, you can see feed from your doorbell right through the Cove app.

What is Cove?

Cove Home Security is among the best home security systems we’ve encountered. This DIY system is fully customizable and only takes a few minutes to set up. It has cellular backup, so if your power or Wi-Fi goes out, it can keep working and has special features like RapidSOS and text alerts.

Learn more about Cove from any of these other SafeWise articles:

Kami-compatible devices

Kami works with Cove Home Security, but doesn’t stop there. It’s also compatible with Amazon Echo. If you have an Alexa-enabled device like an Echo Show, you can see your doorbell’s live video from your smart speaker’s screen.

4. Kami pros and cons

pro Easy installation
pro Affordable cloud storage
pro Face library
con No volume adjustments
con Weak speaker
con False person detection notifications

After using the Kami for a little over a week, our tester loved how easy the installation was and finished it in about 20 minutes. We love that Kami provides tons of installation options in this tiny box for as many people and homes as possible.

We also really liked the cloud storage, face library, and pre-recorded messages for the doorbell. Its video quality is clear enough to watch events live night and day.

But we wish the settings in the Kami app were a little more advanced. Kami has a ton of cameras to choose from (score), but the settings felt more uniform to fit all their products rather than the doorbell specifically (bummer). We weren’t able to turn up the volume on the camera’s speaker or adjust the video quality, for example.

And the person detection needs some improvement. It was really sensitive, which is a good and a bad thing. So while the Kami caught lots of action, it was about a 50-50 shot that the person alert was actually a person and not a passing car.

Our verdict

So while the Kami isn’t the end-all-be-all of video doorbell cameras, it’s a great beginner setup for anyone curious about what goes on in their front yard. The cloud storage is worth springing for with its extra features and low annual price.

And the setup is almost guaranteed to fit your home, whatever it looks like. If you already have a Cove home security system or you’re thinking about one, the Kami Doorbell Camera is a sure-fire way to watch your porch and protect the main entrance to your home.

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